Tag: idea

Lots of little kisses

Recently I have been partying down with some of the lovely hens (bachelorettes for those of you across the pond) in my life who are getting married this summer. My friends are definitely going wedding crazy at the moment, and with hen parties springing up every other weekend I thought I would put together a yummy recipe for any keen party planners, or any of you who fancied a new afternoon tea recipe.

Introducing these lovely little meringue kisses. Although any of the wedding party who are on diets might want to look away now…


You will need

2 egg whites

110g/4 oz caster sugar

100g/3.5 oz dark chocolate

150ml double cream

75g/2.5 oz raspberries

Makes 20


Step one

Separate eggs whites into a glass or metal mixing bowl (plastic tends to hold a bit of grease, gross I know, but this will stop your egg whites fluffing like they should).

Use an electronic whisk (or a really strong arm) to whip the whites until they double in size and start to stiffen up.

Once they look kind of like the third photo start adding in the sugar as you whisk.


Step one and a half

Keep whisking until you have what’s known in the biz as stiff peaks. If you’re a bit unsure, turn your bowl upside down, if your mix doesn’t fall out then you’re good to go, if it does then I’m sorry.


Step two

Cover two baking trays in greaseproof paper or baking parchment. Don’t whatever you do grease this, use a dab of meringue in each corner to secure it to the tray.

Fill a piping bag with the meringue mix and pipe lots of little blobs. Hold the piping bag about 2cm away from the tray at a 90 degree angle and squeeze down, once your meringue has reached the desired spread (say 4cm wide?) pull away quickly.

Remember to pipe in pairs, no odd numbers, and leave a little space for these to expand.


Step three


Gas Mark 1/2, 130 degrees C or 250 degree F for 40 minutes to an hour. I know, that’s really unhelpful, but I sort of went jogging, and my oven is a law unto itself.

Once you can see they’ve grown and have developed shells, turn the oven off and wait for it to cool before removing them. If you need to take a peek by opening the oven door, try not to throw it wide, or your meringues will crack.


Step four

Melt the dark chocolate in a small bowl/ramekin. Do this gradually in the microwave so you don’t burn the chocolate.

Dip each meringue so that the bottom an a little bit of the side is covered. Sit on greaseproof paper and leave to set.


Step five

Whisk the double cream until it has doubled in size and is beginning to hod it’s shape.

Add the raspberries and whisk some more. This is pretty satisfying for some reason.


Step six

Pipe the raspberry cream onto a shell and squish another one on top. Repeat until finished.



Step seven


We’re gonna have a party tonight

Welcome back!

You might remember my mentioning I went on a little trip to Germany recently? I went a-visiting a wonderful little family who I miss very much. Capitalising on their crafty house guest there were some birthday preparations to be done. So aside from baking over 70 cupcakes (very popular little chap) there was the small matter of inviting other little people to come and eat them.

They were throwing a garden party with lots of traditional German party games, I really wish I’d have stuck around a bit longer to join in! So Mr Freddie and I crafted some invites that were fun and festive and will adapt to any theme or themeless party you’ve got going on.


You will need

A4 Card/thick paper (one per guest and an extra for the birthday boy/girl)

Bits and bobs to decorate with




A small child with an upcoming birthday

This template


Step one

Draw round the template onto each piece of card and cut out a hat for each guest, not forgetting one for the birthday boy or girl.

Step two

Use a hole punch or something sharp poke holes in each hat (as marked on the template).

Step three

Using an open pair of scissors and a ruler score along the dotted line to create a flap.


Step four

Decorate! Use your (or your child’s) imagination, Freds and I used foam shapes, stickers and glitter that mummy already had in stock. We also cut some shapes out from the left over card so as not to waste anything.

You can use whatever you can get your hands on, cut outs from old magazines/buttons/feathers/draw pictures or each child’s name. Your only limit is the attention span of the child in question!

(don’t decorate the flap)


Step five

Cut two lengths of string for each hat. Use the child you already have in stock to get an idea of length, you need to be able to tie a bow under their chins. Doing it this way rather than one loop means they are adjustable for each guest.

kids-birthday-party-hat-invites-5 copy

Step six

Add the party details on the other side and voila! Your hats are ready to give out. Each guest is in charge of assembling their hat and bringing it with them to the party (worth having one or two spare just in case!)

To stick together just glue the flap (with the hat right side up) and stick underneath the opposite edge.

Step seven


I’d tag that

Well hi. Apologies for being MIA, sometimes the blog falls victim to life’s unpredictability, but I’m back, and thanks for sticking with it.

I had a birthday recently, so in honour of my stepping over the early-mid twenties boundary *weeps silently* I have devised an excellent little make to help your gifts stand out from the crowd. You can make a load of these up in one go so that you have a good stock of supplies to whip out at a moment’s notice.


You will need

Cheerful patterned paper

Some plain card or paper



Strong quick drying glue


Step one

Cut your paper into long strips.

The width is up to you, but bear in mind it will be the radius of your tag. I found the thicker the strip, the longer it needs to be to work (I didn’t deserve my Maths GCSE for not knowing that instinctually) so you may need to tape two strips together if you want big tags.

All will become clear.


Step two

Fold the strips into a concertina (one bit forward, one back, just like in primary school when you made paper fans).


Step three

Stick together the two ends of each strip so that you have the star shape type things above.


Step four

Pick up your stars and push the top edges into the middle to make these circular flowery fan things.

Put a small dab of strong glue on the centre and hold until stuck (I mean super glue really, I have zero patience for anything else, and glue burns to prove it). On that note, be careful it doesn’t drip all the way through the middle while you’re holding it – unless you want a charming new finger accessory.


Step five

Stick a button over the join in the middle.


Step six

Find something circular that matches the size of your tags (or use a set of compasses). You want the circle to be a bit smaller than the tag itself.

Cut said circles out from plain coloured card and use a hole punch to make, well, a hole.

Loop a short length of ribbon through the hole.


Step seven

Stick the card disks to the backs of the tags using double sided tape or glue.

Write your meaningful and heartfelt congratulations that the birthday person is still alive on the reverse.

Affix to gift.


Step eight

Smugly produce your beautifully tagged gift at the appropriate moment.

Thanks for stopping by, have a great week!

My little Columbus

Several months ago now one of my absolute bests announced she was planning to desert us all for far off lands. That time is growing closer (sob), and I thought I would use the opportunity to a) make up for a missed birthday (I didn’t forget it – NOTHING is good enough for her she’s just that great) b) remind her how special she is as the pre-travel nerves begin to build and c) give you some inspiration for gifts for your globe trotting buddies.

Let me tell you a little about Beth’s trip. She’s heading out to California to be a best (wo)man in a wedding, then to Vanuatu where she’ll spend most of her time, before hopping across to Australia and New Zealand for a little look see after which it’s home to GB.

(Yes, Vanuatu is where this happened. Somehow can’t see Beth having a go.)

So here it is, a gift guide for a traveller, which you can adjust and adapt to suit your budget and your friend.


Just building the suspense a little bit. Here’s the box…want to see what’s inside? Here you go:


Oh everything’s wrapped up? That’s ok, I’ll open it all up just for you.


Given that Vanuatu is a big chunk of the trip, I thought I would get a couple of travel diaries together to get her in the mood. Getting Stoned with the Savages actually includes Vanuatu, whilst Solomon Time is based around the Solomon Islands. I did my best, but Vanuatu is kind of niche. Trust Beth.

Next I figured I would find a phrase book for the official language of Vanuatu – Bislama. Again, pretty niche, but I found it, buried away in this little book of Pidgin languages. I expect fluency upon her return.


On the theme of books, I thought it would be pretty neat if Beth wrote her own travel diary. Now…you’ve actually seen this before…hidden under that orange jacket is the book I bound! Yup. That was for Beth all along. To make a book jacket, just cut a long strip of paper or card and fold around the front and back cover.


Something else you’ve seen before is the eye mask I made last week. Sneaky aren’t I?

I figured it’s quite a bit of flying to do. NZ to the UK is a long old journey home. So I thought she might want a bit of a nap, not always easy on a plane.

The chocolate? Some of her favourite. If it makes it as far as California, it should mean that she doesn’t have to endure Hershey’s, which is quite important (sorry America, you’re great otherwise).


Speaking of the USA. That’s Beth’s first stop. She’s a pretty conscientious little person, and really doesn’t like to inconvenience or offend people. So I thought she’d better have some dolla at the ready. I got it all in ones (much to the lady in the post office’s confusion) this way she can tip as soon as the plane hits the tarmac. Not something we’re particularly used to in the UK.


Now…I also wanted something a little more special to remind her how loved and special she is when she’s far away. I got her this little compass necklace from Etsy. I think it just about stays on theme without hitting cheesy.

A little word on the boxes – in case you are a bit OCD like me and want everything to match…I found these little gift boxes in one of those bits and bobs shops. They were black and silver striped (ew), so I pulled all the paper off and covered them to match the other paper items. You can’t just cover them straight over as they won’t close so you do have to endure the peeling etc. I also used accents of the paper to wrap the other gifts in to tie it all in.


Sticking on the jewellery theme I couldn’t resist these little rings, also from Etsy. B is a huge fan of the ampersand. I am a huge fan of her.

I don’t want her to think she’s out of sight, out of mind while she’s away. I guess these are a nod towards the friendship bracelets you have as kids, but a bit classier I hope! A little something that says to Beth ‘hey, don’t forget, it’s you & me, that’s not going to change’.


Now, as if it couldn’t get anymore romantic I also decided to write a little letter, one for each week she’s away. The envelopes open into hearts because this girl is just so so great and she needs to know just how much love there is for her.

I’ll be posting a tutorial for the envelopes soon, in case you want to write love letters to your friends too.

Well that’s everything. Except of course that now you’re probably wondering who this amazing person is?


There you are. Chilling in the sunshine in her new necklace. What a stunner.

Have a great week chaps and chapettes.